Archive for the ‘Vivienne Tam’ Category

CNN’s Hot Scoop: News Network’s Einsteins Discover That QVC Has ‘Arrived’

September 22, 2010

Kim Kardashian was interviewed by CNN about selling her new clothing line on QVC

A year ago when we started this blog, Gawker and The Wall Street Journal were still making fun of QVC and HSN (cubic zirconia, yada yada). In fact, Gawker called HSN a purveyor of “useless crap,” we believe the wording was.

Back then we’d already observed that with the economy, and retail sales, tanking, high-end vendors and designers from Judith Ripka to Dennis Bass to Vivienne Tam to Robert Lee Morris had developed lines for home shopping networks.

Well, CNN woke up discovered that fact this month. Here is a clip that Jersey boy Basso, furrier to the stars, posted on his Facebook page Wednesday.

The CNN story on QVC going upscale was shot during New York Fashion Week, and includes interviews with Isaac Mizrahi, QVC CEO Mike George and Kim Kardashian. We also see a tape of host Lisa Robertson at QVC’s pop-up shop at Rock Center.

Jon Klein, wake up your retail reporters, please.

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Vivienne Tam Is Now Designing Computer Notebooks For QVC: Consumer Electronic Products Get Stylish Makeovers

April 20, 2010

Designer consumer electronics

In March we identified a possible new trend: fashion designers putting their mark on consumer electronics, one of the few sales categories that has remained fairly strong during the recession.

Well, it looks like it really is a trend. We see that QVC is offering a laptop whose shell was decorated by designer Vivienne Tam.

The netbook has several butterflies on its top, a motif inspired by Tam’s recent clothing lines.

QVC is selling this “HP designer digital clutch” for $600.

Here’s what QVC said about its new computer:

“A glamour gal is always fashion forward–whether she flaunts a runway-ready look or uses the hottest, hippest electronics around. This Vivienne Tam Edition Mini netbook fits in with your luxurious lifestyle–and is made to fit in your high-fashion purse! Designed with an HP imprint of the Butterfly Lovers theme–from Vivienne’s spring 2010 collection–this trend-setting tech sparkles in a high-gloss champagne gold.

Have no fear–there’s plenty of power behind the posh. Girls on-the-go will love the speed and space it offers with a 1.66GHz Intel Atom processor N450 and 250GB 7200 RPM SATA hard drive. And, you can run music, graphics, and video applications quickly and easily thanks to 2GB DDR2 RAM.”

The first example of this we saw of these designer CE products was last month, when HSN began selling digital cameras that were designed by Jason Wu, who created the white ballgown that First Lady Michelle Obama wore to all the Inaugural balls in D.C. Those cameras were “styled” by Wu, and sell under the name “Create by Jason Wu.”

News Flash: Philadelphia Inquirer Discovers That QVC Sells More Than Cubic Zirconia

February 14, 2010

The Philadelphia Inquirer Sunday broke the big scoop that high-end designers have made their way to QVC because of its “sales clout.” Yes, the consumer press finally got a clue.

We did a huge blog on that topic for Thanksgiving, and have written many other blogs about why big-name designers like Badgley Mischka, Vivienne Tam, Robert Lee Morris, Judith Ripka and Stephen Dweck — whose wares can be found at shops like Neiman Marcus — now have lines for QVC and HSN.

The story, by Inquirer fashion writer Elizabeth Wellington, is headlined “Fashion Fete’s Eyes on QVC: Sales Clout Turns Heads in New York.”

The story talks about QVC telecasting live from Fashion Week in Manhattan again this year, and how “the seller people used to go to for Grandma’s holiday sweater” is now “a major industry player” in the fashion world.

That’s because designers have discovered a rather simple fact, one that snobs who look down their nose at home shopping channels, have yet to grasp: You can make a hell of a lot more money selling thousands of items an hour on QVC than selling just a few costly items in a brick-and-mortar store.

The story quotes Doug Howe, QVC’s chief merchandising officer, as well as the QVC vendors celebrity makeup artist Mally Roncal and fashion designer Bradley Bayou.

Roncal told the Inquirer she once sold 20,000 eyeliners in eight minutes on QVC (we use her mascara).

Bayou is quoted as saying he was skeptical when QVC first approached him. He hopped on board.

“When you show couture, you sell maybe 10 to 20 pieces (a season), but when you show on QVC, you can sell 1,000 pieces in an hour,” Bayou told the Inquirer.

The newspaper also reported that QVC rival HSN, those sly pusses, will have a breakfast in New York to show off its new spring fashions in a couple of weeks.

QVC, HSN and ShopNBC Should Give Thanks For Home Shopping’s Sea Change: They’ve Attracted Luxury Brands Like Gucci, Badgley Mischka And Stephen Dweck

November 26, 2009

QVC CEO Mike George

We thought we were seeing things a few days ago when we checked ShopNBC’s Web site and saw that it was selling dozens of Gucci watches. What happened, did they fall off a truck? Why was Gucci, a premier luxury brand, being sold on a home shopping network?

Then back in October, we couldn’t believe it when a sharp-eyed poster on QVC’s jewelry forum said that upscale jewelry designer Stephen Dweck, whose chunky gemstone masterpieces are featured in Neiman Marcus, was on the No. 1 home shopping network’s schedule. THE Stephen Dweck?

We checked QVC’s program guide ourselves, and there it was: Dweck was doing a lower-priced jewelry line for QVC called Dweck’s Diamonds. His Neiman Marcus pieces didn’t even have diamonds. The high-end stuff is made with semi-precious stones.

Also in October, we were checking the press releases on HSN’s Web site when we saw the network had struck a deal with one of the most famous and elite fashion houses: Badgley Mischka, designers of bejeweled gowns for the red carpet and celebrities.

We’ve written bits and pieces of this during the past two months, but we thought we’d tie it all up in a tidy package for Thanksgiving: There has been a sea change in the home shopping world, prompted by the disastrous economy and the crash of the luxury market.

Yes, home shopping networks have seen their sales hurt by the economy, like everyone else. But they claim they are still managing to steal market share from brick-and-mortar retailers. In fact, QVC is making a full-frontal assault on them this Black Friday, with 28 hours of special products and programming stunts starting Thanksgiving night.

The consumer press will continue to mention “cubic zirconia” in every story it writes about QVC or HSN, oblivious to the fact that some of the most esteemed names in fashion, jewelry and cosmetics — brands you find in Saks, Bloomingdale’s and Neiman Marcus — are plying their wares on the aforementioned home shopping channels.

ShopNBC CEO Keith Stewart

Male journalists are blind to this. You still have the nerds at Gawker, a snide Web Site for the navel-gazing media, chiding HSN for selling “useless crap.”

If you have ever seen how male journalists dress or their fashion and style sensibilities, you will realize that you can’t expect them to know names like Badgley Mischka, Judith Ripka, Robert Lee Morris, our fellow Montclair, N.J., resident Bobbi Brown, Yves Saint Laurent, Smashbox, Lancome and Dweck. And these brands and artists don’t represent “useless crap.”

Luxury-good makers are hurting, and they need to make up their loss in sales. So they are turning to outlets like QVC, as CEO Mike George explained at a recent Liberty Media conference, as outlets to distribute new lower-priced lines to the masses. George cited fashion designer Vivienne Tam’s QVC alliance at the meeting held in Manhattan by his parent company, Liberty.

“This complete implosion of luxury retailing in America has caused all these folks to rethink their business model,” George said.

And that means partnering with QVC, HSN or ShopNBC.

As we said, it will take the consumer press years to figure out that home shopping channels are distribution powerhouses that have undergone a transformation, in part because of the infllux of talent like a Morris, who does couture jewelry for designers like Donna Karan and RLM Studio sterling silver jewelry for QVC.

The Big Three — QVC, HSN and ShopNBC — are aggressively trying to broaden their audience and potential customer base, those who don’t normally watch any of these three networks. That means the three are actually “programming” the channels, doing “shows” that have entertainment value, not just product shilling, so they will attract non-QVC or non-HSN watchers.

We remember once interviewing a QVC exec years ago and asking what the network’s ratings were. He said ratings were irrelevant: QVC was only concerned about how many products were sold in an hour.

HSN CEO Mindy Grossman

That’s a totally different tune from what we heard recently from QVC’s George, and from the strategies that HSN CEO Mindy Grossman and ShopNBC CEO Keith Stewart have initiated.

Like traditional TV networks, the home shopping players want viewers to “sample” a QVC or an HSN. These new audience members, hopefully, will then see products that they want to buy.

For example, singer Natalie Cole recently did a live concert on HSN to promote a new Holiday CD set she is selling on the channel. If you’re a fan, you might tune in to HSN to see her, and then actually decide to purchase her CD. Artists such
as Jose Feliciano have also performed live on QVC.

QVC alum Stewart on a recent third-quarter conference call pointed out that actress-entrepreneur Suzanne Somers, who came to ShopNBC from HSN, had succeeded in attracting new viewers to Minneapolis-based ShopNBC because she was “entertaining.” And these networks want new eyeballs.

And home shopping networks’ capacity to reach millions of consumers and do fulfillment of orders has not been lost on magazine publishers, celebrities or cable’s reality TV stars. With circulation falling, women’s magazines such as Lucky, Allure, Glamour and Self are partnering with HSN to sell subscriptions.

And stars have seen the light. In a recent interview in Oprah Winfey’s O magazine, Joan Rivers, who’s had a jewelry line on QVC for almost 20 years, told O she was on home shopping when “nobody except dead celebrities was doing merchandise on TV.”

Nowadays, it’s hard to find a celebrity or TV star who doesn’t have a home shopping line. Even Madonna was interviewed on HSN when she was selling her children’s book.

Here’s a partial list:

Paula Abdul, HSN, formerly “American Idol,” Fox

Rachel Zoe, QVC, “The Rachel Zoe Project,” Bravo

Isaac Mizrahi, QVC, “The Fashion Show,” Bravo

Padma Lakshmi, HSN, “Top Chef,” Bravo

Ramona Singer, HSN, “The Real Housewives of New York City,” Bravo

Susan Lucci, HSN, “All My Children,” ABC

Carson Kressley, QVC, “How to Look Good Naked,” Lifetime Television

Dr. Robert Rey, ShopNBC, “Dr. 90210,” E! Entertainment Television

Tori Spelling, HSN, “Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood,” Oxygen

Paula Deen, QVC, Food Network

Rachael Ray, QVC, “The Rachael Ray Show,” syndication

Ingrid Hoffmann, HSN, Food Network and Univision

Home shopping is a big business. ShopNBC is the also-ran in the group, but in the third quarter Stewart made some nice progress cutting its losses. Sales for the Big Three were all down, but down less than previous quarters.

And we are not talking chump change for these networks. The three home shopping channels generated $8.3 billion in net revenue in 2008. QVC domestic posted $4.9 billion, HSN netted $2.8 billion and ShopNBC had $568 million.

Even with revenue still slipping this year, for the first nine months QVC had revenue of $3.308 billion; HSN had net sales of $1.4 billion; and ShopNBC had $372.6 million in net sales.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Luxury Brands Like Vivienne Tam and Stephen Dweck On QVC? Somebody Tell The Press

October 16, 2009

Luxury brands are loving QVC now that the market for upscale merchandise has collapsed, according to QVC chief Mike George.

Fashion designer Vivienne Tam just started an apparel line exclusive to QVC, and upscale brands such as jewely designer Stephen Dweck, Frette and Shu Uemera are all coming to the network in the next few months, George said Friday at Investors Day for Liberty Media, QVC’s parent. 

”What’s been fascinating to watch is this complete implosion of luxury retailing in America has caused all these folks to rethink their business model and realize that a partnership with QVC has enormous advantages over what they’re trying to do: to struggle through a very, very difficult environment in luxury retailing,” George said.

To think, home shopping used to be all cubic zirconia. And some knuckleheads in the press still think it is.